Antibes is a beautiful Mediterranean coastal city located in the south of France. Located on the French Riviera, it offers visitors a plethora of beautiful sights and activities to partake in. From markets and museums to restaurants and beaches, there is plenty of things to do in Antibes. Boat tours of the harbor offer a unique way to explore the city and its surrounding islands.
Antibes Card – City Pass
There are many things to do in Antibes, and one of the most cost-efficient ways to maximize the number of experiences you can have is via its city pass.
The city of Nice has created a city pass called the French Riviera Pass. It offers free access to a large variety of famous monuments and cultural attractions throughout the French Riviera – including Antibes. Travelers can participate in various things to do in Antibes and visit the city’s most famous sites with the pass.
Most Popular Thing To Do In Antibes
Wander Around The Antibes Old Town
One of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Antibes is found in the Old Town. This is where you’ll discover the region’s classic architecture, flavorful gourmet restaurants, and energetic atmosphere. The old town has a rich heritage, as this is where the city first took its roots under the Greek name Antipolis more than 2500 years ago.
As you wander through the narrow alleys, you’ll be greeted by the deep blue sea on the neighborhood’s border and the scent of pissaladière and socca dishes within its larger squares.
Popular points of interest include the Place du Safranier, the Tower Museum, Saint Bernardin Chapel, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Antibes – all very popular Antibes attractions.
Local Things To Do In Antibes
Enjoy A Day Out In The Sun In One of Antibes’ Beaches
Antibes extends over 25 kilometers of pebbled sandy beaches over its coastline. Some are public, with all the necessary facilities on-site; others are private and provide extra luxuries to their guests, such as specific leisure activities or catering.
If you’re looking for a central beach, we recommend checking out La plage de la Gravette. This is one of the best Antibes beaches catering to different holidaymakers.
If you want something more intimate, there are a few smaller beaches to the west of Cap d’Antibes, towards Juan-les-Pins. However, note that these are wilder and often unsupervised.
For families with kids, we recommend Plage de la Salis and Plage du Ponteil. They constitute long sandy stretches of shallow-water beaches. Either way, going to the beach is a must-do when it comes to things to do in Antibes.
Eat And Shop Your Way Through The Marché Provencal
The best way to sample the region’s delicacies is by paying a visit to Antibe’s covered Provençal market. It is held every day from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm (except for holidays or on special occasions). You’ll find around 50 merchants and stalls selling fresh products from the region, from fruits to vegetables, cheese, fish, and seafood.
For those with a non-growling stomach, there are plenty of other products, such as clothing, toys, traditional soaps, and furniture. You’ll also find a good variety of restaurants and cafes on-site where you can try some French cuisine.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a ‘hidden gem.’ There is a bit of a price markup due to its high popularity when it comes to things to do in Antibes.
Best Indoor Things To Do In Antibes
Step Into the Past At The Cathedral Notre-Dame
Cathedral Notre Dame is one the largest Antibes attractions, painted in beautiful beige and rose colors.
The cathedral was built during the 5th century and has undergone many transformations over the centuries. This is due to its destruction by barbarians in 1124 and a renewal of its Italian-style facade in 1747.
Its building interiors reflect the beauty of its exterior structure as they house a variety of notable artworks:
- The altarpiece of Our Lady of the Rosary was created by Louis Brea during the 16th century
- A crucifix belonging to the 15th century in the choir
- A carved portal by Jacques Dole was made in the 18th century.
Pretend You’re A Botanist At The Villa Thuret
Gustave Thuret was a renowned French algologist (he studied algae) and botanist. He settled in Antibes in 1857 due to various health reasons that the region’s climate helped alleviate.
Here, Gustave built the Villa Thuret, which became popular with locals due to the land he developed around it. He planted a variety of never-before-seen exotic plants and botanic gardens whose species he later diffused throughout the region.
Gustave Thuret is credited with influencing the French Riviera’s landscape. You can take a tour through his house and gardens, which feature over 150 different botanical families.
Admire The Architecture Of The Villa Eilenroc
The Villa Eilenroc sits on an 11 hectares property. It encompasses the luxury and voluptuousness of the Belle Epoque during which the Côte d’Azur was born. The villa was constructed by architect Charles Garnier in 1867, who notably also created the designs of the Monte Carlo and Paris Opera houses.
In 2011, a scented garden was added to the rose garden and coastal path that wind through the property’s edges. This provides visitors with panoramic views of the Cap.
The residence housed several notable guests like King Farouk of Egypt and Maupassant. In fact, he described it as: ‘’A prodigious garden, thrown between two seas, where the most beautiful flowers in Europe grow’’.
Today, its first floor and gardens are open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visiting this impressive villa is one of the best things to do in Antibes.
Discover The Region Through Picasso’s Paintings At The Musée Picasso
Picasso set one of his workshops within the walls of the Grimaldi Castle in 1946. Back then, the building used to serve as a museum.
The curator asked Picasso to use some of its rooms as he saw fit. It is in these rooms that Picasso created some of his famous pieces, such as ‘The Keys of Antibes,’ ultimately leaving the place with 23 paintings and 44 drawings.
Today, the Grimaldi Castle has been turned into the ‘Picasso Museum,’ solely dedicated to exhibitions about the artist and his life in Antibes. Head there if you’re wondering what to do in Antibes; you won’t be disappointed.
Outdoor Things To Do In Antibes
Admire The Sea With The Le Nomade
As you walk around the Bastion Saint-Jaume, you’ll eventually come across an intriguing giant white sculpture of a human gazing at sea: the Nomad – one of the main Antibes attractions.
Initially, the statue was supposed to be part of a temporary exhibition (hence its name), but the city decided to buy it and permanently display it in Antibes, where the structure is now passive.
While it is an impressive piece of art to gaze at, the surrounding area is as interesting. It used to house a temple, a chapel, a fortified tower, and a shipyard. These past structures have all become ruins, and the space highlights its famous history. It’s one of the fascinating places to visit in Antibes.
Get Inspired As You Stroll Along The Picasso trail
Picasso moved into Vallauris in 1948 – a town northwest of Antibes – to raise his children. During his stay, he became deeply inspired by some of the region’s landscapes, notably the diversity he would find throughout Antibes.
Today, there is a specific trail named ‘Picasso’s trail’ that you can follow. This takes you between the same rocky outcrops and deep blue seas that the painter was inspired to create some of his works.
Art-lovers that are wondering what to do in Antibes will find what they are looking for here! There are numerous paintings along the trail, with specific information about them. You will find laminated copies of his work mounted in areas where he have painted or taken inspiration from the surroundings.
Defend Antibes From Imaginary Enemies At The Fort Carré
Fort Carré was built during the Renaissance under the orders of King Henri II of France. It was meant to fortify the city’s defense system to guard the nearby County of Nice and Antibes itself.
Lovers of architecture will appreciate the mathematical principles used to build its star-shaped edifice, constructed to withstand ricochet fire. Its high walls and walkways that provide stuffing views of the region.
The fort is located 26 meters above sea level on four hectares of protected Mediterranean-style gardens. It even served as a brief prison to Napoleon during the French Revolution! Today, the fort is classified as a historical monument and is part of the main Antibes attractions.
Cheap and Free Things To Do In Antibes
Follow The Twist And Turns Of The Sentier De Tire-Poil
There is a pathway that follows the natural edges of the French Riviera. Part of it runs throughout the southern end of Antibes providing travelers and locals with a breathtaking view of the Cap and the Mediterranean.
This coastal path begins at the Sentier du Littoral, extending into the Sentier de Tirepoil – although this later pathway is very much a hidden gem, unknown by most tourists.
If you’re wondering what to do in Antibes for some nature immersion, we recommend beginning at Sentier du Littoral! The hike will take you through Garoupe beach, Villa Eilenr, and around Cape town.
While the path is arranged through stairs, they are quite steep. You will need comfortable footing to embark on this small adventure. There, you’ll find yourself in nature surrounded by centuries-old pine and olive trees and the occasional wealthy villa.
Admire The Panoramas From the Garoupe Lighthouse
Although the Garoupe lighthouse is an impressive building in Antibes, the path leading to it has the most to offer visitors.
To reach the lighthouse, you will walk through a pine-shaded stony path that overlooks Juan-les-Pins. The olive tree forests and snow-capped ranges of the Alps and Corsican mountains are a sight to behold.
Keep in mind that the incline is quite steep, so it might be best to visit when the temperatures are lower. We recommend going a little before sunset to fully take in the beauty of what the panoramas offer.
The top of the Garoupe Lighthouse plateau encompasses the Chapel Notre Dame de Bon Port and a charming little café – Le Bistrot du Curé – which will offer much-needed refreshments, french snacks, and local specialties like pissaladière and pan bagnat!
People-Watch at Port Vauban
A part of port Vauban has been known as the ‘billionaire’s quay’ since 1986. This is due to the large superyachts (70m to 165m) that regularly call it their home.
The rest of the port accommodates all other boats, from the typical fishing ones to those used for sailing. The diversity makes it one of the popular Antibes attractions.
Visitors and locals like to stroll along its edges, people-watching or grabbing a drink at one of the many pubs that border it. They are frequented by people of all nationalities, giving the area a distinctly cosmopolitan feel.
Best Day Trips From Antibes
Admire The Cap D’Antibes From The Sea
If you’re wondering what to see in Antibes, the diverse coastline is not to be missed. The best way to admire the elegant villas, charming waters, and impressive cliff edges, is from the comfort of a boat in the sea.
You’ll be able to go along the coast and visit hidden coves and small caves. Alternatively, make a day trip from Antibes to any of the nearby cities on the French Riviera.
Travelers usually opt for taking a boat ride to the Lérins Islands and then have a bite in Cannes. Return to Antibes as the sun sets to admire its magical orange and fiery hues reflected on the Mediterranean waters.
Explore the Region’s Hidden Gems
Cap D’Antibes has one of the greatest locations on the Cote D’Azur. It is well-linked to other popular cities along the rivieras, which makes for great day trips.
So we’d like to suggest other day trips that fall into more of a ‘hidden gems’ category for what to do in Antibes:
- The village of Tende is a small and magnificent countryside town tucked amidst the Alpine range. It can be reached via the Train des Merveilles from Nice. This will take you on a unique journey as it winds up through the natural twists and turns of the mountains.
- The village of Valbonne is a rustic village with yellow and pink buildings that might remind some of the Italian countrysides. While it is worth visiting on its own, we recommend adventurous travelers take a leisurely walk along the Brague river stream that goes through it. It will take you from the village into a tranquil wooded area and eventually near the sea at Biot.
- Lake Saint Cassien is a beautiful and vast deep lake located about a 40 minutes drive from Antibes. It borders a forest and consists of small coves, little beach-like areas, and rolling hills. Locals love to head there during the weekend to partake in provencal-style picnics under the much-needed shades of the trees. During the popular reason, you can also rent kayaks and discover the surroundings via the waters.
Where To Stay In Antibes
For those looking for accommodation options in Antibes, there is an abundance of hotels, villas, and apartments available. From luxury resorts and quaint vacation rentals to budget-friendly hotels, there is something for everyone when it comes to where to stay in Antibes!
Budget Accommodation In Antibes
Backpackers House Antibes: This is a cozy and modern hostel located in the heart of the beautiful medieval village of Antibes in France. It has a welcoming and warm atmosphere and provides guests with modern and comfortable amenities such as a fully-equipped kitchen and a shared lounge.
Backpackers House Antibes is the perfect place for budget-minded travelers to stay while exploring things to do in Antibes.
Glamorgan: Glamorgan Hostel is a charming accommodation located in the city of Antibes, a short walk away from the famous Picasso Museum. Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, the hostel allows for easy connectivity for those who need it.
Guests can also enjoy a flowered terrace with barbecue facilities. This hostel offers a range of comfortable and spacious rooms equipped with seating areas to provide a place to relax after a long day of sightseeing in Antibes.
Mid-Range Accommodation In Antibes
Irin Hotel: Situated in a prime location, Irin Hotel offers guests the opportunity to experience the true beauty of Antibes. Travelers can enjoy the convenience of the hotel’s terrace and elevator, as well as its airport shuttle service.
The Picasso Museum is located just a short walk away from this hotel. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature an array of amenities, including flat-screen TV with satellite channels and safe deposit box.
La Place Boutique Hotel: Conveniently set in the center of Antibes, the hotel provides easy access to the city’s popular attractions. Guests can enjoy a host of facilities, such as a fitness center, a jacuzzi, and a delicious breakfast buffet.
Each of the spacious and soundproofed rooms comes with an en-suite bathroom and modern amenities such as a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk away from the renowned Port Vauban and the sandy beaches. This makes it an ideal spot for exploring things to do in Antibes.
Luxury Accommodation In Antibes
Hôtel La Villa Port d’Antibes & Spa: With its premier location in the city center, the hotel features a myriad of amenities.
Its air-conditioned rooms, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi, and bar make it the perfect destination for families and individuals alike. Not to mention the terrace, which provides a great spot for taking in the views of the city.
Its attentive staff and wide range of services serve to meet all the needs of its guests.
Le Ponteil: Le Ponteil Hotel is located on a quiet street one minute away from the beach, providing guests with easy access to the shore. The hotel is also a 10-minute walk away from the center of Antibes, and it offers free Wi-Fi access.
Each of the hotel’s rooms is equipped with a private bathroom and a TV, and some have individual terraces. Guests are able to enjoy the convenience of being close to the heart of many things to do in Antibes while being remote enough for a more intimate and local feel.
Discovering Things To Do In Antibes
Antibes is a perfect destination for travelers looking to discover a wide variety of activities. From scenic strolls along the beach to cultural activities like visiting the Picasso museum, there is an array of entertaining and educational Antibes attractions to explore.
Visitors can also embark on boat excursions to nearby islands, or take part in unique activities like wine tastings and olive oil production tours. Antibes is the ideal destination for travelers wanting to experience all that the French Riviera has to offer.